Friday, June 30, 2006

what's for dinner?

Last night Brianna spent the night at the Teet's house. She told me that they had a great dinner...when I asked her what it was, she told me cow skin.
This is where being a second grade teacher comes in very handy. I thought for a minute and then I asked her if she thought she might have had

Oh yeah! she smiled.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

visiting teaching

Cherylyn and Clark and I went visiting teaching to see Sister Shirley White today. She is 92 years old. When she saw Clark, she thought he was quite an adorable baby. But then she saw his chin! She shook her head as she said "Dimple on the chin, devil within." We were horrified that she would even say such a thing. Evidently, it is an old Irish saying. Based on my personal experience with dimple on the chin, I would have to rewrite that saying:
Dimple on the chin...happy baby within.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

vanilla cookies

Melissa Schaffer came over to learn how to ski today. Afterwards, I was cleaning the kitchen and she asked if she could help. I said, "Why don't you make some cookies?" And she agreed. I got a recipe for her and assembled the ingredients. Then I carried on with cleaning the kitchen.

A few minutes later Melissa said that she thought she might have made a mistake with the cookies. "What happened?" I asked her. She told me that she put 1 cup of vanilla in the cookies instead of 1 teaspoon. We did some quick calculations and figured out that it was 48 times the amount the recipe called for.

Okay, so we dumped the cookie dough in the trash and started over since the vanilla had saturated everything in the bowl. I think Melissa learned more about cooking today than skiing.

The good news...the kitchen sure smelled good!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

doug's dock

Doug has been working through rain and lightning and thunder on his "dock". I call it...

birdhouse pier.

Monday, June 26, 2006

kid's college

For the month of June, Brianna and her friend Natalie Teets have been going to Kid's College. They have had all kinds of interesting classes including art, hip hop, cooking, paper mache, and sewing to name some. They go to classes from 9 until 4 everyday.

What fun they have had!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

sunday meditations

One of the things that I have always loved about my husband is how he makes the things in my life important to him. I am not just talking about big things like faith and family. I am talking about all the little things too. At this point in my life, I see some people my age frustrated because they have nothing in common with their spouses anymore. Although faith and family can bridge that gap, I am grateful that my husband can talk with me about all of my interests.

I thought about this recently when school ended. The second grade team had an end of the school year party. Spouses were not invited, but when I showed up without Doug several people asked me where he was? I answered that I didn't think spouses were invited and the response was something like, well, they aren't but your husband is different. He talks with my co-workers as easily as I do. He is always up on their concerns about school and about life. He helps me decorate bulletin boards from tasks as mundane as putting up background, to helping me design a new theme from the get go and brainstorming how to make it happen.

When we moved to Florida, I felt like I was moving to the end of the earth...that was before Argentina, when we really did move to the end of the earth. I told him I wanted to buy jet skis so we could play together as a family, but it was also something I thought I could manage on my own when he wasn't able to join us because of his extensive work schedule. It was clear that he always worried about us when we went out on our own, and he always listened to our adventures with enthusiasm. He didn't share my love of waterskiing however and when he was with us he was the designated driver. About six years ago, the girls taught him how to ski and he enjoyed it so much that I started pressuring him to learn to slalom a few years later. He was not enthusiastic. As time went on he agreed to try and I believe he enjoys it now every bit as much as I do.

Although his Sundays are full and he often attends more than one Sacrament meeting himself, he always comes home and wants to know all about my Sunday...who spoke, who I talked with and generally what went on in my day.

He looks with interest at flowers budding in my garden. When we went on our trip to Montreal, he spent a Sunday afternoon at the botanical gardens because I wanted to go there and never asked for equal time doing something that would be more interesting to him.

He goes shopping with me even when it is something as mundane as groceries. Although he doesn't like to shop for himself, he is always happy to shop for me. He pays attention to current trends in style and things and colors that would look good on me. When we lived in the UK, he would come back to the States and shop for me and the girls and has seldom missed the mark when purchasing for any of us.

Of course, I hope that I have made the things in his life important to me. But I can say for sure that he has truly been successful in making me feel loved by being interested in every aspect of my life.

mo day

Doug has known Monica for longer than I have known her. He has always had the highest regard for her. I really got to know Mo last summer. I hadn't skied at all and Mo said she wanted to learn, so we invited her to come over. It turned out to be such a blessing for me as I got to know her cute personality and intelligent wit as she bantered with my husband. This year I attended the third annual LDS Prom. Mo was the originator of this wonderful event in our area that has turned out to be a memorable event in many lives. Since she is now a student at BYU, I usually keep in touch with her through her family. Sadly, she didn't come home this summer, albeit in order to accomodate her goals. Then I received a phone call from her mom that she would be here for a couple of days. Since that time we have anxiously looked forward to what we have affectionately called Mo Day.

Mo Day was wonderful. She is darling as ever and sweet and funny as ever too. Her boyfriend, Christian came with her and it was a pleasure to meet him. I thought Christian was easy to talk with and polite and thoughtful. He also did a few things that made me think he is probably practical and sensible as obviously, the first impression is that here is a fine boy that Mo has chosen to date. How like her!

We skied and ate lunch at Tijuana Flats and ran errands at Millenia Mall before having dinner at Brio. For me, doing those activities with almost anyone would be good, but doing them with Mo and Christian and Roxanne and Mike was terrific. I think we need more Mo Days!

Friday, June 23, 2006

laundry helper

After our trip there was lots of laundry to do.
Hey Clark! Thanks for helping!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

home again

Gee, but it's great to be back home! Home is where I wanna be...but we sure had fun!

Monday, June 19, 2006

nj day 4

After school today, Papa and Carter went to get haircuts...

then we went to see the Disney movie Cars.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

nj day 3

Today after church Courtney and I were standing in the sun to get warm. Papa and Tricia decided that Courtney and I look quite a bit alike...isn't she just the cutest thing?

Saturday, June 17, 2006

nj day 2

We all went to the Nordy's sale today. We ate lunch at the Nordstrom cafeteria and three of the patrons stopped by our table to tell us what well behaved children were with us. It was after lunch that we decided to divide the kids among the adults. I got Carter who would not hold my hand, but was perfectly happy to play passenger train with me and follow me wherever I went.

Later, we went to the park for an evening picnic. Courtney asked me to push her in the swing, but then we decided to do what Courtney calls "double swing" and she sat on my lap facing me while we swung. We swung high and higher and highest and she squealed with delight. Carter finally convinced her that it was his tu(r)n. (He doesn't say the "r" sound yet.) We swung high and he was begging to get off. And quick as that Courtney was back.

When I was very young I memorized a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson called

The Swing
How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!
Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
Rivers and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside—
Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown—
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!

I loved flying with Courtney today!

Friday, June 16, 2006

nj day 1

I have never felt like Doug was very good at multi-tasking. He did impress me with his abilities today. He negotiated a car deal for the Seguine family, kept the three kids busy and had numerous telephone calls with Tricia to keep her abreast of the progess...Well done!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

connecticut day 4

Today we celebrated Truby's birthday...all day long. We started with presents this morning. Then Papa put together his basketball hoop and we played basketball in the family room almost until it was time to go to the park. At the park we met his friends, endured a short rainshower under the playground equipment and then carried on with the pizza party. Truman was delighted with the confetti cake that I made for his party. Tonight we had birthday dinner and more fun with his presents. He loves his Harley "cycle mo"(translation: Harley Big Wheels).

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

connecticut day 3

Yesterday, we went to New Haven and stopped in at one of my favorite places. The girl who helped us in the shop recommended a trip to Stoney Creek.

We strolled around the buildings of Yale.
An accomplished musician was obviously playing the bells in the tower. It was so relaxing enjoying the warm and beautiful day.

So then today...we went to Stoney Creek. We took a
45 minute, five mile boat tour around the Thimble Islands. 25 granite islands with massive homes and lush gardens. Most of the homes are summer escapes. There are some interesting stories surrounding some of the islands - one is believed to have been Captain Kidd's hiding place. They even claim that treasure was found there. Some islands have been re-shaped by the elements, but all the islands are solid pink granite--the same stone used in Grant's Tomb, the base of the Statue of Liberty and the Lincoln Memorial. It's a natural marvel. Then we had lunch at the local bakery/deli/pizzeria.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

connecticut day 2

We couldn't stand to wait until Thursday to give Truman his birthday present. Happy Birthday Truman!
Nanamoo and Papa

Monday, June 12, 2006

connecticut day 1

Melanie, Truman and Elliot picked us up at JFK airport. We then drove to Prospect and spent the rest of the day enjoying their family. After work, of course, Spencer joined us.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

montreal day 5

We took a road trip today to Quebec City. We were quite interested to see this road sign:

Quebec City has very charming European style streets in the old part of town. We had lunch at this beautiful hotel called Chateau Frontenac orginally built in the late 1800's by the Canadian Railway to accomodate their wealthy travelers. We had a stunning view overlooking the St. Lawrence River.

Then we drove to the Ile de Orleans. There were many interesting villages. We stopped at a shop that had once been a church and purchased a birdhouse made by the owner as a remembrance of our experiences in Canada.

montreal day 6

Sunday we went to church. The ward we attended had eight missionaries. They had English speaking, French speaking, Spanish speaking and and Chinese speaking elders.

After four straight days of rain, we were very pleased to have the opportunity of spending the afternoon walking the botanical gardens.

montreal day 4

We had brunch at this cute place...
From the menu:
"We are a
company committed
to innovation and eggcellence.
Meeting your "Eggspectations" is
part of our everyday eggsperience,
striving to surpass them is what
makes us "eggstraordinary".

We need an Egg Spectation in Mt. Dora!

The Plateau or Plateau Mont-Royal is one of the most densely populated neighbourhoods in Canada. It is characterized by brightly-coloured houses, caf├ęs, book shops, and any number of trendy clothing stores have their place along the strip of St-Laurent.

We spent the day walking and shopping. Doug bought me a suit at Tristan and America.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

montreal day 3

Doug and I went to this great little bagel shoppe for breakfast. It has been in business since 1919, famous now for their hand rolled bagels...loved it! We ate our bagels in the park next to this very picturesque fire station.

Next, we were off to Olympic Park where Doug took this very cool picture of the Biodome.
Inside the Biodome, we learned some very interesting things and saw some very interesting animals, including this sleeping porcupine.

We ended the day in a section of the city called "The Plateau". It is famous for small but fantastic bistros. We went to Laloux. We both agreed it was terrific!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

montreal day 2

We went to the Atwater Market this morning where we had breakfast at a great boulangerie.

The market was a visual feast of flowers and produce.

Afterwards we walked along the Lachine Canal. The canal and it's locks were restored in 2002 and there are nice pedestrian and bicycle paths alongside.

We took the metro and the city bus system to get to MontRoyal. The park was designed by Olmstead,who is famous for Central Park in NYC. We saw many joggers and walkers and we actually walked a fair distance ourselves. In the winter they snow ski the trails. The park has tons of giant trees throughout and some fantastic mansions on the outskirts.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

happy birthday to me!

You have to get a good first impression of a place that sells fresh flowers at the airport. We were told to take a bus downtown and get off at the last stop...which clearly means something different in French than it does in English because there was only one stop. I must be looking older today because the bus ticket lady gave us the "senior discount."

We went to eat at the port in Old Montreal. We ate at a hospital built in 1694. The structure was renovated in 1967 and is now called Gibbys, the name coming from the horses' stalls which were located inthe central countyard.

I had sirloin en crote which was a steak encrusted with Dijon mustard, breadcrumbs and black peppercorns. I was feeling quite"crote"ish evidently, because we shared hot apple crote for dessert which was a fantastically delicious cross between a crossaint and puff pastry laced with hot caramel and apples. The French have a wonderful reputation for cooking for a reason!

Afterwards we walked along the quays (pronounced keys) and up to the Place Jacques-Cartier. It was like Disneyland only much better because it was real...sidewalk artists, flowercarts, street entertainers, all the windows decorated with flowers and open so that the patrons could enjoy the warm evening. It's spring here in Montreal and tonight the scent of lilac is heavy in the air.